Accessibility FAQ

CHI 2020 is committed to providing an inclusive environment and we will do our best to accommodate requests for special assistance. This page describes the accessibility features of CHI 2020, to help you make an informed decision about whether the conference will be accessible to you. Please contact us if your question is not answered here, or if the conference arrangements as described are not enough to allow you to attend. We will work with you to the best of our ability, to make the conference accessible.

Contents

How do I communicate accessibility needs to CHI 2020 organizers?

The Accessibility Chairs for CHI 2020 are Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin, whose goal is to ensure the conference is accessible to everyone. When you register for the conference, there will be a registration question labeled, “Describe here any special accessibility or dietary needs.” In your response, please indicate any accessibility needs such as wheelchair access, sign language interpretation, or a guide. The Accessibility Chairs will follow up with you to clarify your needs. You can contact them directly at any time by emailing accessibility@chi2020.acm.org.

Who do I ask if my question is not answered here?

More information about accessibility at Hawaii Convention Center is available on their accessibility information page.

Please contact the venue on +1 (808) 943-3500 or email eventinfo@hccaeg.com to discuss your specific needs with the venue directly.

If there is specific accessibility information you would like to see here, or if you wish to discuss any conference accessibility requirements, please contact our Accessibility Chairs, Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin by email: accessibility@chi2020.acm.org, and someone will respond to you shortly.

Will sign language interpretation or captioning be available?

The conference will provide a team of sign language interpreters or captioners if requested by any attendees by January 1, 2020. Please make your request as early as possible. Our Accessibility Chairs will follow up with you to discuss your needs in more detail. After January 1, 2020, the best effort will be made to accommodate requests, but we cannot guarantee that interpreters or captioners will be available.

What are the taxi and public transport options for getting to the conference venue?

From Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the easiest way to get to the Hawaii Convention Center is by using the SpeediShuttle service

Recommended options for getting to the conference include:

SpeediShuttle

  • Route: From Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to the Hawaii Convention Center and nearby hotels.
  • Pick-up point: International arrivals will need to exit Customs to the street and wait by the information counter. Domestic arrivals should remain in the baggage claim area. You will be met by a SpeediShuttle greeter in a Polynesian red with natural fern aloha attire holding a SPEEDISHUTTLE sign.
  • Cost: $16 one-way for shared service
  • Time: Approximately 20 minutes
  • Wheelchair accessibility: One accessible van with a wheelchair lift.
  • Walking and steps: Walking distance from the gate to the shuttle is approximately 1200 steps, including negotiating some stores, crowds and noisy outdoor areas. Escalators are available. From shuttle drop off to the Hilton hotel lobby is 100 steps.
  • Service animals: Please check directly with the vendor
  • Phone: +1 (877) 242-5777, or email oahu@speedishuttle.com
  • Book: Use the online booking service or call +1 (877) 242-5777.

Who can I ask about accessibility in Honolulu?

For information about Honolulu accessibility, including public transport, go to Accessibility Information for Travelers with Special Needs or contact the Disability and Communication Access Board at +1 (808) 586-8121 (Voice) or +1 (808) 586-8162 (TTY) or dcab@doh.hawaii.gov.

Can a student volunteer assist me during the conference?

Student volunteers will be available to assist attendees with disabilities with navigation, meal service, or other accessibility needs. If you will need volunteer assistance at the conference, please indicate this on your conference registration form.

Attendees who require personal care assistance should bring their own assistant. Personal care assistants do not need to register for the conference. If the assistant will be having food and drinks provided by the conference during coffee/tea breaks, lunches, and/or evening events, we ask that these be added into the attendee’s registration at the ‘extra options’ stage of the registration process.

What is the conference space like?

For the overall layout of the venue, please refer to this map of the conference space.

The Hawaii Convention Center has four levels. At street level (Level 1) are the exhibit halls and main lobby. The Main Lobby is at the intersection of the Kapi-Olani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive. Two escalators lead up, one to the parking garage on Level 2 and the other to Levels 3 and 4. Elevators and restrooms are located at the far left and far right of the lobby area, and there is also a universal restroom on the right. The exhibition halls are located across the lobby area, with restrooms and concessions stands along the opposite wall.

On Level 3 are the meeting rooms for conference sessions. From the top of the escalator that comes up from the main lobby, at 1 o’clock lies a wide central concourse punctuated by irregular-shaped planted areas, leading to the Grand Staircase down. Meeting rooms 311-316 lie off this concourse. The concourse also has two escalators leading up to level 4, one near to the top of the escalator to the lobby, and one further towards the Grand Staircase, where there are also stairs leading up.

Again, from the top of the escalator from the main lobby, further hallways are at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock. These run along the front of the building above the lobby, each leading to a side hallway lined with meeting rooms. To the left are rooms 301-311, including the Lili’U Theater. To the right are rooms 317-328, including the ‘Emalani Theater. Restrooms are located to the left and right of the top of the Grand Staircase, opposite the top of the escalator, and in the right and far left opposite corners, where the theaters are located.

Two escalators from the central concourse lead up to Level 4, which has a ballroom and a rooftop garden. To get to the ballroom, turn left and left again from the top of the escalator near the lobby. From the top of the same escalator, turn left and then veer right to get to the garden, or head towards 11 o’clock for the restrooms. The rooftop garden features a pond and stream on the left, an open paved area, and plants/grass on the right. It is a smoking area. At the top, beyond a row of plants, are stairs down to the lower levels, and a terrace.

The Convention Center has both audible and visual strobe fire alarms. We are still working on an evacuation plan for attendees with mobility limitations.

Please see our other FAQs for more details about wheelchair or power scooter access, provisions for presenters, restrooms, walking and steps, and facilities for assistance animals.

Will the conference be accessible by wheelchair or power scooter?

Yes, the conference will be accessible to wheelchair users. Accessible parking is available. Accessible loading and unloading zones are available at the Atkinson Drive main entrance. The front entrance on Atkinson Drive has automatic doors and a sloped ramp. All floors are accessible by elevator, located in the lobby and from the Ala Wai Promenade. All restroom facilities are wheelchair accessible and hands-free. All water fountains include a wheelchair-height fountain. Wheelchair accommodations are available in both theaters, including wheelchair lifts to access the upper level.

The convention center has 2 ramps and 1 wheelchair lift in total. If you are a presenter who uses a wheelchair, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements. After January 1, 2020, we cannot guarantee to be able to provide a ramp. Poster sessions will have space for a wheelchair to move between the posters.

The Convention Center has both audible and visual strobe fire alarms. We are still working on an evacuation plan for attendees with mobility limitations.

For more information about wheelchair accessibility at Hawaii Convention Center, please contact the venue on +1 (808) 943-3500 or eventinfo@hccaeg.com.

We are still gathering information on wheelchair access to offsite events. Please contact us directly with any questions.

What are the restroom facilities like?

All restroom facilities are hands-free including the entrance, and a private accessible “family” restroom is located in the lobby. Restrooms have accessible facilities. There are two accessible stalls. Each accessible restroom stall has 2 grab bars. Each door opens manually to 180 degrees. The doors at the narrowest point are 33.5 inches. The sink, soap, and towels are hands free, while the toilet has a lever that someone has to grasp and pull up or down. The gendered restrooms are marked with Braille.

What are the arrangements for presenters with accessibility needs?

The stages and podium locations differ between rooms. There are stairs up to the stage with handrails. We are still working on the stage design once the rooms are chosen and configured.

The convention center has 2 ramps and 1 wheelchair lift in total. If you are a presenter who uses a wheelchair, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements. After January 1, 2020, we cannot guarantee to be able to provide a ramp. Poster sessions and Interactivity will have space for a wheelchair to move between the posters.

If you would like a student volunteer to operate slides or guide you onto and off the stage, or have other accessibility requests please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org by January 1, 2020.

Can I bring my guide dog?

Yes! Guide dogs and other service animals are welcome at CHI 2020. There are relief areas in the grass areas on the 4th floor gardens and outside of the building. Please indicate on your registration form if you anticipate bringing a service animal to the conference.

Guide dogs are allowed to accompany you to “all areas of any facility where the public is normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other people. Limitations are rare and only for those areas where health and safety may be compromised or where doing so would result in a fundamental alteration of the nature of the program, activity, or service.” See more information at Hawaii.gov’s policies on service animals.

Can I attend the conference by robot?

Unfortunately, we are not able to ship robots to the conference venue.

How much walking or standing will be needed?

We provide an annotated Hawaii Convention Center map with alt-text that provides step counts and times for a 5’8” female. The document includes links to photos and videos of the convention center (not audio described).

We are still gathering information on walking demands of the offsite events.

Please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org as early as possible if you have further questions or special requests.

Will there be assistive listening devices or induction loops at the venue?

The Hawaii Convention Center offers assistive listening systems. Please let us know as early as possible if you would like to reserve one of these for the conference. “They are available through the audio-visual office by calling (808) 943-3041 or dialing 3041 from any house phone for reservations.” read more at Hawaii Convention Center’s ADA Accessibility Information Page.

Will speakers and audience members asking questions be using a microphone?

Yes, microphones will be used for all speakers. Attendees with questions will be requested to use a microphone so that their question is more easily heard.

What food service will be provided?

The conference will provide refreshments at morning and afternoon breaks. Dishes will be labeled. For more detailed information please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate these clearly on your registration form.

Can the conference accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes. Attendees who indicate special dietary requirements on their registration form will be provided with special meals when the conference catering does not accommodate them. If you have a severe allergy please indicate this on your registration form. For more detailed information please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org.

Will the conference be a smoke-free environment?

The entire indoor portion of the conference venue is a no-smoking area. There are smoking areas on the fourth floor gardens and an outdoor balcony on the third floor. Note that some balconies have no smoking signs.

Will there be loud music, strobe lighting, spotlights, or other strong sensory experiences?

We are still gathering information on sensory aspects of the conference. Participants will be requested not to use flash photography or to wear strong scents. Please indicate on your registration form if there are specific items you would like to know about in advance.

We are still gathering information on sensory demands of the offsite events and availability of quiet places.

Please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org as early as possible if you have further questions or special requests.

Will there be a designated quiet space at the conference?

We hope to be able to provide a quiet space at the conference but are still checking on availability. Please contact us if you are planning to attend the conference and may need such a space.

What if I have a medical emergency or health problem during the conference?

In case of emergency call 911 for an ambulance. The nearest hospitals are Straub Medical Center and The Queen’s Medical Center, both less than 3 miles away. If you require non-urgent medical care, please contact Kyle Rector and Shari Trewin at accessibility@chi2020.acm.org or ask any student volunteer. They will provide you with information about local doctors, specialists, chiropractors, etc. For non-resident attendees, buying travel insurance that covers medical expenses is strongly recommended as fees for an emergency treatment can be very high.

This FAQ has been generated using the Accessibility FAQ Generator tool provided by ACM SIGACCESS. Event organizers are welcome to modify and reuse this template for other events. Please contact SIGACCESS for more information.

What about local food options?

Downtown Honolulu has a lot of food options that are either very cheap or very expensive. There is a variety of Asian food which can be good for vegetarians and gluten-free folks. Other than that, there are mostly American chains.

A driving distance away, there are many popular food options in Chinatown. However, Chinatown often has a strong smell, particularly on hot days, which some attendees may find over stimulating.

How should I navigate between the Hawaii Convention Center and the hotels?

Here are factors to consider when deciding how to navigate between the hotels and the Hawaii Convention Center.

  • First, the majority of marked crosswalks that we checked in the Waikiki area did not have audio or tactile cues.
  • Further, the main roads (e.g., taking Atkinson drive to Ala Moana Hotel, taking Ala Moana Blvd to the Waikiki hotels) do not have consistent crosswalks; they are like highways with boundaries. These crosswalks have long wait times and short walk times and can be 4-6 lanes of traffic depending on where you are. Therefore, it is possible to take longer than the 30 seconds available to cross.
  • Also, there is little shade along any of these routes, so attendees who are heat or sun-sensitive should plan alternatives to walking.

Public bus routes do not connect the hotels to the convention center, so that is not an option.
We recommend that wheelchair users use Charley’s Taxi (https://charleystaxi.com/services/wheelchair-accessible-vehicles/). They are the most common taxi service and have stations at all of the hotels. Folks should call ahead to get one for wheelchair service. They are not guaranteed to always have one at the hotels or airport, but they will be available on request.

What should I know about the hotels?

  1. Ala Moana: The Ala Moana is the most accessible hotel for several reasons:
    1. Route (.3 miles): leave Hawaii Convention Center from the north corner. There are two crosswalks within 100 yards to cross Atkinson Dr. After this, there are no crosswalks until you have passed Ala Moana. Walk down Atkinson Dr. to the Ala Moana Hotel.
    2. It is the closest hotel to the convention center. There are no turns required. It took about five minutes to walk to the convention center for a user with a cane. Therefore, we believe it is the easiest to find for blind attendees and has the fewest mobility barriers for wheelchair users.
    3. The main entrance is wheelchair accessible but steep, so it also has a lift to avoid the driveway.
    4. There are several quiet spaces with seating on the main floors.
    5. There is a guide dog relief area on the grass at the entrance to the hotel.
    6. There are many accessible bathrooms on each level.
    7. There is one central area for elevators with six express elevators.
    8. There are several shops and restaurants in the hotel. One shop has quick food options, some gluten-free and vegetarian, as well as basic over the counter drugs (e.g., cold medicine, ibuprofen)
  2. Prince Waikiki Hotel: This hotel is recommended as second best:
    1. Route 1 (.7 miles): Walk down Atkinson Dr from the northside of the Hawaii Convention Center. At the end of the road, which is crossed by Ala Moana Blvd, make sure to cross the crosswalk to the ocean side of the road (south). There is no other crosswalk across Ala Moana Blvd until you’ve passed Prince Waikiki. Turn towards Waikiki, cross over a bridge over the canal, the Prince Waikiki is the first building on the ocean side of the street.
    2. Route 2 (.6 miles): Go south from the convention center, across a canal bridge. Cross Ala Wai Blvd, this is the last crosswalk available. Turn west on Ala Wai Blvd. Turn right on Lipeepee St, but there is no light to distinguish this street. Continue south to Hobron Park, which is a small green space and turn southwest down Hobron Ln. There are no lights or crosswalks: mostly residential light traffic. Continue to Ala Moana Blvd, make sure to be on the south side of the street to find the Ala Moana crosswalks. Cross immediately because there is not another crosswalk until you have passed the Prince Waikiki. Continue north to the hotel, if you hit the harbor you have gone to far.
    3. Back entrance (van drop off) is wheelchair accessible.
    4. The street-front entrance has 3 stairs on the main path and a ramp to the north.
    5. Guide dog relief area is in front of the hotel.
    6. The hotel is an easy landmark if people walking up Ala Moana Blvd; it’s the first one past the harbor which makes it easy to find by smell and sound.
    7. However, there are some considerations, including that it smells (especially on hot days because the water nearby is stagnant), there is a smoking area right in front of the entrance, the front entrance has a push/pull door with no automatic opener, and not much seating (with almost no seating in quiet areas). Finally, it is in between the affordable food options in ala Moana center (big shopping mall) and the nicer resort restaurants).
  3. Modern Hotel: We express caution when selecting this hotel for several reasons:
    1. Route (.6 miles): This is the same as route 2 to Prince Waikiki, but instead of going north on Ala Moana, continue 1 block after crossing Ala Moana Blvd. It’s the last complex before you hit the ocean. The route leads to the back of the convention center with a very large staircase.
    2. The reception is wheelchair accessible, but only by wheelchair lift.
    3. There are no quiet seating areas.
    4. Everything is around a pool in an open sunlight area.
    5. The smoking area is at the main entrance.
    6. The elevators are somewhat hidden.
  4. Hilton: There are benefits to this hotel, including that you can eat and buy anything you want within the resort itself. Further, there are multiple places to get a taxi and call a wheelchair van. There are several restaurants inside the complex, with at least one restaurant with a gluten-free menu. Finally, people in Oahu can give you directions to the hotel due to its notability. However, we express caution when selecting this hotel:
    1. Route (.7 miles): Same as Prince Waikiki Hotel Route 2, but after crossing Ala Moana Blvd turn south. Hilton Village takes up the next few blocks after Kahanamoku street. Other routes may be better depending on which tower you stay in.
    2. It is a large resort that is designed for people to get lost in it and never leave.
    3. Pathways through the resort often have steps, while there are ramps and pointers to them, they are often out of the way and confusing. 
    4. Lyft and Uber have pick-up points at the back of the resort near dumpsters with strong smells. It is a long walk from one side of the resort to this pick-up spot. The Lyft (not tested on Uber) app will redirect you to the pick-up spot only after you have committed to the purchase. Depending on your location in the resort it may be difficult to reach the pick-up spot before your driver. Drivers are not able to change this pick-up location.
    5. This is one of the most crowded resorts on the island; we have seen lines of 100 people trying to check-in. It can be overstimulating.
    6. Google maps does not mark all the entrances which can make routing difficult.